The Merchant of Dreams (Night's Masque #2)
But Mal harbours a darker secret: he and his twin brother share a soul that once belonged to a skrayling, one of the mystical creatures from the New World.
When Mal’s dream about ...more
I think it likely that my changing perception of the Skraylings is an ...more
The story took us through England and France to Venice, where the intrigue and mystery were deliciously wound and unwound. Though there were no great shocks or surprises, the book was a very entertaining and fast read. Maybe I'm not in awe as some of the happenings seemed contrived and most of the problems that arose were resolved far too quickly, long before ...more
The Merchant of Dreams picks up a year after The Alchemist of Souls, with Mal and Coby following his dream of a skrayling shipwreck, only for them to discover a massacre of skraylings. They sail to Kiiren ...more
We rejoin Mal and Coby a ...more
Shadowhawk reviews the second entry in the Night’s Masque historical fantasy series by new author Anne Lyle.
“Full of vitality and some spectacular sequences, Merchant of Dreams is simply fantastic.“ ~The Founding Fields
When I reviewed Anne’s first novel in this series, Alchemist of Souls, I said at the end that it was a fantastic novel and that I hoped she would deliver on the sequel just as well as ...more
The Merchant of Dreams is the second book in the Night's Masque series by Anne Lyle. While I didn't read the first novel, I though the premise sounded interesting. Set in Elizabethan times, a group of spies investigate a skrayling delegation to Venice. The skraylings are the native people of Vinland, who have a mysterious spiritual connection between the dream world and reality. Not quite human, they are continuously reincarnated on death. T ...more
When I read The Alchemist of Souls earlier this year, by Anne Lyle –I was thoroughly impressed, and was left wondering how she would top that jaw-dropping first instalment. Well, as it turns out, The Merchant of Dreams is not ...more
bouncing between 4 and 5 stars in fact...
Lye has to my delight managed to not only deliver on my hopes for this book but has exceeded them!
The world building is absolutely flawless just like in the first book, and the characters are even better.
There are many subtle nuances and depths that have been added to the characters we got to meet in the alchemist of souls. In fact while I love the world building I adore the characters she created. I really care for them and wanna know what will ...more
We come back to the story some months after the events of The Alchemist of Souls. Mal Catlyn and his valet Coby are exiled to France, and checking out a suspected skrayling shipwreck in the Med. Circumstances take them back to England, then onward to the Republic of Venice, where an ancient skrayling Guiser is making mischief among the nobility. There's plenty of intrigue, swordplay and playful banter. The gender-bending of the first book is taken up a notch, but it works out ...more
This is the second book in a series, although it works as a stand-alone; the passages explaining what's gone on before give just enough information to enable the new reader to understand the plot, but I suspect that I would have enjo ...more
That's not the only issue. There's also the fact that it's kinda slow to get started, and there seems to be a lot going on, especially in the middle, that I'm n ...more
Let’s get the basics out of the way: I liked it, though not quite as much as I liked the first book in this trilogy. It was well-written, it read smoothly and there was not a moment where I felt bored and thought ‘yeah yeah, just get on with it already’.
The plot is a bit convoluted. We learned in the first book (spoilers!) that the mysterious beings called skraylings ...more
Often, what makes a book is a mixture of two elements, perfectly and chemically arranged on a page as suits the author’s style and tastes. Charac ...more
I never felt any character development from them, Mal was the hero that turned into a lech that can't keep his sword sheathed. Coby built a life for herself yet constrains herself by only going about as a man instead of playing both male and female roles in her spy life & then, oops, a plot hole opens up and she can sudde ...more
Mal and Coby have fled to Mal’s estates in France, but Mal is haunted by dreams and visions from the fragment of skrayling soul trapped within him. The skraylings, creatures from the New World, can re-incarnate into different bodies. But the soul that has re-incarnated into ...more
Court intrigue and battles abound as Mal Catlyn and his page - the cross-dressing (by necessit ...more
This sequel picks up a little while after the first book, with Mal and Coby living in France while the fallout from their actions i ...more
Still not sure what the author is hoping to achieve with this: still unsure of the Sandy/Erishen raisen d'etre and how/why it affects Mal; bringing older brother Charles int ...more
The only real complaint I had about it was that the start was, perhaps, a bit slow. I was all right with this, because it added some details re characterization and wo ...more
The second installment of Mal Catlyn's adventures, beginning about a year after the events in Alchemist of Souls. Mal finds a party of skraylings in the Mediterra ...more
There has been a rift with the skraylings over the presence of renegade skraylings who have deliberately reincarnated in humans in England. Rumour has it that skrayling vessels have been spotted in the eastern Mediterranean in increasing numbers, fuelling suspicions of dealings with Venice. Mal is instructed to travel to Venice forthwith to find out if these suspicions are true and, if they are, to break up this new alliance by any means necessary...Review
"Whether you like action, magic, roma
“You’re afraid of me, aren’t you?”
“No,” Ned replied, glancing around the kitchen in the hope of spotting a handy weapon. The carving knife was still on the table, and the fire irons out of reach on the hearth.
“Yes you are.”
“All right, yes, dammit.” Ned straightened up, putting as much distance between them as he could without actually retreating. “Now say what you have to say and be done with it.”
“Good. We understand one another. So understand this.” Sandy leant clos ...more
Talk about betrayal.
I was looking forward to this second book of the trilogy, but now I'm not sure I like how some of the characters are developing. Mal makes some very dodgy decisions in this book and agrees to others that don't quite fit with what we know about his character. In particular, one betrayal and one decision are quite spectacular and his reasoning for both of these things didn't really work for me at all.
At least the betray ...more
It appears, however, that although you can take the girl out of Sherwood Forest, you can’t ...more